Brothers in Arms

A Haven fanfic

By Jeannine Trevizo

 

Chapter 7

 

-x-

 

Nathan had come down the stairs after closing up Audrey’s place and walked into the Gull. At the bar he found Duke behind it, pouring coffee and laying out two plates loaded with toast, eggs and bacon.

 

“About time. Coffee and food ready to go.”

 

“What about your employees?” Nathan asked, avoiding the offer of food and coffee in favor of asking about a lead on Audrey.

 

“I had Frank at the bar and Laurie waiting tables. I already called and left a message for both of them. But I doubt either of them saw anything as it’s really hard to focus on much other than the people in the place.”

 

“Still…”

 

“We’ll ask. For now, eat something,” Duke remarked, taking a piece of bacon from his own plate.

 

“How domestic of you,” Nathan started and got a glare from Duke in return. He softened slightly realizing the full meaning of the gesture. “Thanks, for this…”

 

“Nathan, you know that I’d do anything for Audrey, and well… I guess, well, you’re not so bad for a cop and all…”

 

Nathan recognized the olive branch for what it was; in truth since Audrey had arrived in Haven both he and Duke had changed a lot. Sure, he had warned Audrey about ever trusting Duke, but he had to admit that when the chips were down and he’d needed him, Duke had manned up. Once they found Audrey and caught her up on everything they’d learned so far about the troubles he’d see if Duke continued his altruistic behavior. 

 

He took a sip of the coffee, fairly sure that it was cool enough that it wouldn’t burn him now. The jolt of caffeine hit his system and he felt even more awake than he had when he’d woken earlier. Giving Duke a half smirk he took the toast and munched on it, knowing it had been over 12 hours since he’d eaten and would need the strength for the day to come.

 

When his phone rang he had a mouth full of eggs and he quickly chewed and swallowed so he could answer it. Duke took another bite of his bacon as he watched Nathan’s face slip back into worry – both professional and personal.

 

“Dwight?”

 

Nathan’s eyes widened and he glanced to Duke who carefully put down his coffee cup on the bar. Obviously the sasquatch had come up with something…

 

“Nathan?” asked Duke, his voice energized at the look on Nathan’s face.

 

While Nathan listened to Dwight he looked at Duke with a stunned expression. It wasn’t quite what he wanted, Audrey’s exact location, but the news was a surprise and possibly a big key to figuring out not only who had Audrey but to who had been pulling the strings around town for years.

 

“Did Dwight find her?”

 

Nathan raised a finger to halt any more questions from Duke as he spoke to the man on the phone, ”thanks. Call me if you catch anything else.”

 

Once he’d hung up, Duke looked Nathan straight in the eye. He could tell that whatever Dwight had told him had given him the slightest bit more hope; it was in the way he stood a little straighter and his limbs hung a bit looser.

 

“Nat…” Duke started but Nathan cut him off.

 

“No, he didn’t find her… but… he got something else.”

 

“Come on, don’t leave me hanging here…”

 

“The State Police got a hit on one FBI Special Agent Howard coming into the Portland airport two days ago,” announced Nathan, his mind playing over the times he’d spoken to the man who must have known who Audrey ‘really’ was…

 

“You mean the bald guy that got locked on my boat?”

 

“Yeah. Dwight confirmed it was him. And it seems that he rented a car…”

 

“You think he’s coming here?” questioned Duke, wondering what the guy was thinking coming back to Haven.

 

“Why else would he be here?” Nathan asked, “I’m calling the station and putting an APB on the car. If we find him, maybe he has some answers. Finish your coffee, we’re going hunting for Agent Howard…”

 

Duke grimaced, thinking of hours driving through Haven in the Bronco with Nathan, but couldn’t fault Nathan’s logic. Ducking under the counter he reached down and pulled up two take out coffee containers and passed one to Nathan as he dumped his own coffee into it.

 

“Take it to go. God knows you’re going to want to leave right this second and you’ll be a bear without a full cup of caffeine in your system.”

 

Nathan nodded and poured his coffee in the cup and secured the top. He took another sip before he started to the door, one hand on his coffee and the other on his phone as he called the station.

 

“Laverne, I need an APB on a silver Toyota Corolla four door sedan with Maine plates…”

 

-x-

 

‘FBI Special Agent Howard’ drove his rental car towards the coastline road, looking for the quickest path from Haven and to Portland.

 

He was going a little fast and when he saw the flashing lights of a Haven police car whirling behind him, he knew he was being pulled over for speeding. Since no one knew who he really was, he figured he had a chance to talk his way out of it. He pulled over and sat waiting. In the rear view mirror he watched the local cop get out and walk towards him and he glanced down, preparing his badge and important federal law enforcement business spiel…

 

Instead when the cop came to the door, he saw that he had his gun in hand and was very obviously not going to listen to what he had to say.

 

“Get out of the car, hands up. You’re under arrest!”

 

Surprised, Robert slowly complied, carefully getting out of the car. Stan quickly turned him around and had his hands cuffed behind his back before he could blink twice. Once cuffed Stan carefully walked him back to the patrol car, reciting his Miranda rights as he guided him into the back seat, closing him in. Moving to the driver’s door he reached for his radio and called in his status.

 

“Laverne, call Nathan and let him know we found the car and I’m bringing Agent Howard in.”

 

-x-

 

“So, where do you want to start?” Duke asked once Nathan had finished giving Laverne the vehicle information to be radioed out to the HPD.

 

“Perhaps East Haven… in case he tries to go to the regional airport?” Nathan replied as he turned over the Bronco, anticipating a full day of driving and searching the town for a single silver sedan.

 

Duke shrugged and Nathan directed the vehicle out of the Gull’s lot and onto the roads of Haven headed towards the mainland location of the airport. As they drove, Nathan looked at every car they passed, looking for the make and model of the silver sedan Agent Howard was supposedly driving. Duke, having overheard the plate number and description was looking as well, knowing he had a better shot at locating the car since he wasn’t driving.

 

They’d been driving for at least half an hour, maybe longer when they finally were close to their destination. Just as they were about ready to crossover onto the mainland Nathan’s phone rang and he hurriedly dug into his pocket.

 

“Laverne, what’s up?” Nathan asked quickly and then his breath caught. “We’re on our way.”

 

Nathan swung the vehicle around, headed at a breakneck pace towards downtown and the station. Duke had no idea what Laverne had told him but the way Nathan was tearing across town meant it was something big.

 

“Nathan…”

 

“Stan picked up Howard on his way out of town.”

 

Duke understood and braced himself in the truck as Nathan cut corners and almost blew through a few stop signs. Before long Nathan slid the Bronco in to a parking spot at the station, barely slowing down. He cut the engine and climbed out, his eyes focused on the door to the station; his mind had spent the better part of the drive getting there wondering how much he could get away with in regards to ‘talking’ to Agent Howard.

 

People halted what they were doing, conversation stopping as they saw the slightly disheveled Nathan Wuornos striding through the station for the first time since Audrey’s kidnapping, not that they knew about it. And the fact that Duke Crocker was with him, while not uncommon these days seemed to cause more than a few sets of eyes to focus on the former interim police chief.

 

“Where Agent Howard?” Nathan asked Stan as he paused at his desk.

 

“I put him in the interrogation room…” replied Stan in a partial stammer at the look in Nathan’s eyes.

 

“Perfect…”

 

The dark tone in Nathan’s voice triggered the alarm in Duke’s head. He knew that Nathan was already walking a tight rope with his emotions and that could cause him to have a lapse in judgment… one that he might not be able to come back from. Federal agent or not, if Nathan did anything to Howard the lawsuit and investigation alone could be devastating.

 

“Nathan,” Duke said quietly, grabbing the other man’s arm, “you aren’t going to…”

 

“I’m just going to ask him some questions…”

 

“Sure you are…”

 

Nathan glared at Duke following his sarcastic response. The man might want to find Audrey too, but the gnawing fear and desperate longing for her only resided in him; he couldn’t lose her, especially when they were so close to having… everything. And he was willing to do whatever it took to get her back.

 

“Duke, this isn’t your concern…” Nathan stated, trying to wave him off as he made his way to the interrogation room, even while Duke tried to keep him from breaking out of his grip and instead followed him in an attempt to try and keep talking him out of doing something that could cost him his badge.

 

“The hell it isn’t. Audrey’s my friend… and hell, so are you. I don’t want you going in there and doing something monumentally stupid…”

 

“I won’t…”

 

“Audrey will kill me if you got fired because you did something to Agent Howard that you shouldn’t.”

 

Nathan couldn’t help but flash a half grin at that, imagining one of her tirades about him doing something dangerous or trying too hard to protect her. Of course he always gave back as good as he got with her; it was one of the things that made them good partners.

 

Still, right now he didn’t care what his fate would be; he just needed a break to help him find her.

 

“I get it…” Nathan finally said, doing his best to sound like he was going to do as Duke was suggesting without actually saying he would. “Just wait here.”

 

He waved Duke to a chair outside the interrogation room and went in alone.

 

“Agent Howard,” Nathan said as he closed the door behind him and stared at the man he’d met so many months ago, who had sent to Haven the woman that at the time he hadn’t known would change his life.

 

“Office Wuornos… I’m a bit confused as to why I’m here,” Agent Howard asked in his best authoritative tone, his fingers steepling before him as he leaned his elbows on the table.

 

“That would be because I know that you really don’t work for the FBI.”

 

There was a long pause as the man before him gave Nathan a brief glance before lining his eye line over and past Nathan’s shoulder.

 

“Who are you?”

 

There was another long silence as the man known only to him as Agent Howard continued to look past him. Nathan placed his palms flat on the table and leaned forward across the flat surface, his face less than a foot from the other man’s.

 

“Okay, how about you tell me why you were in Haven?”

 

“Seeing an old friend,” Howard replied vaguely.

 

“Last I looked the only ‘old friend’ you have here in Haven would be your former ‘employee’…” Nathan started, his hands clenching into fists against the table top. “So… knowing that, I need to ask you, where is Audrey Parker?”

 

Agent Howard’s gaze shifted and caught Nathan’s eyes; the casual disregard to his question that Nathan saw there made him snap the thread of precious control he’d found on Duke’s boat nearly a day earlier. He stood up and then slammed a fist into the table, unable to feel the hard surface impact his hand. But he could see the slight indentation into the surface.

 

In front of him Nathan saw Howard jerk slightly, and he knew that he’d shaken the man before him.

 

 “You know where she is… you’re going to tell me…”

 

Howard flinched as Nathan moved towards his side of the table and then his eyes widened as he was picked up bodily by Nathan’s hands at his neck, the fingers gripping the collar of his jacket. A second later Nathan had slammed him into the wall behind him.

 

 “Where is she?” yelled Nathan as he yanked him forward briefly only to slam him into the wall once again, this time harder.

 

Agent Howard looked at the man before him. He’d known Garland for a while and though him his son. But this man before him was driven in a way that Nathan Wuornos had never been. He recalled one instance when he and Garland had talked about getting the town under control and how Garland had insisted he was doing everything he could to do that.

 

Now he understood that what Garland had been doing was to set things in motion with his son and Audrey… and with them together perhaps things might finally change...

 

“Tell me!” demanded Nathan even as he let his hands slide up from the fabric of Howard’s jacket to press against the man’s throat.

 

“She’s safe,” he gasped, having finally realized the full extent of mistake he’d made in consenting to Dave Teagues’ request.  “I left her in the closet at the house I have here.”

 

“The address!”

 

“2148 Chase Street.”

 

Nathan didn’t spare a second. He dropped Howard and then turned and flew out of the room, slamming the door shut behind him. Duke jumped from his seat at the speeding vision passing him. From the look in his face Duke knew asking any questions would be like talking to a wall. Instead he simply followed him, knowing that wherever Nathan was going he’d possibly need help.

 

“Keep him locked up…” Nathan growled at Stan as he rushed past, “he’s a suspect in a kidnapping.”

 

At Nathan’s words Duke fought a surprised gasp and realized that this might have been the break they’d been waiting for and hurried out the door behind Nathan, expecting that when they arrived at wherever Nathan was going they’d find Audrey Parker.

 

-x-

 

David Teagues walked into the Haven Herald offices and looked around. Vince was not there… it was noon, maybe he was at lunch. Either way it gave him the time he needed to make a call.

 

Pulling a plain manila folder from his bottom desk drawer he placed it on his desk and opened it. Inside was a ripped piece of paper from a journal and he dialed the number scribbled on it. He waited impatiently until the line picked up.

 

“Hello, this is David Teagues…”

 

He waited for the person on the other end to acknowledge him. He grimaced but otherwise was just waiting for his chance to say why he’d called.

 

“Lance, I need you to return to Haven.”

 

This time Dave winced and held the phone away from him a bit as the person on the other end ranted at him. After a few minutes the tirade died down and he placed the phone back to his ear.

 

“Your father would have wanted you here… he didn’t know…”

 

Dave waited, listening to the man on the other end talk. He’d expected he’d have to play the father card and the fact that he had a responsibility to him was his key to getting the man here. After a while he could hear the acquiescence in the man’s voice.

 

“Good. Let me know when you arrive. You can call this number.”

 

Hanging up the phone he looked back at the front door making sure no one had arrived while he was on the call. Then his eyes glanced to where the darkroom door was ajar and he was stunned to see the Crocker weapons box sitting on the floor. He didn’t know how it had gotten here, more than likely Vince had something to do with it, but he wouldn’t argue with his luck.

 

Standing, he moved to the room and picked the box up and placed it briefly on Vince’s desk as he closed the dark room door. The longer it took Vince to realize they were gone the more likely he’d have the time he needed to take care of things. Moving back to the desk he wrapped the box in his jacket and then picked it up.

 

Carefully he made his way to the front door and noted the dirty blue cooler still situated by the entry way and gave it a glare before he pushed the door open and exited, headed somewhere that would allow him to manage things better, and out from his brother’s watchful eye.

 

If Vince was going to start a war he would be sure that the side he’d chosen had both weapons and soldiers too.

 

- End Chapter 7 -